Tony Dungy is Flat Wrong About Rex Ryan

Benjamin C. KleinCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 14: Tony Dungy speaks at a press conference introducing Michael Vick at the NovaCare Complex on August 14, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vick signed a one-year contract, with a second year option, with the Eagles.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Tony Dungy’s recent comments about New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan are ridiculous enough that I now question Dungy’s once unquestionable moral superiority.

In a recent interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Dungy was asked what he thought of Rex Ryan and whether or not he would hire him.

"I would not," Dungy said. "I personally don't want my players to be around that. I don't want to be around that.” 

The "That" that Dungy was referring too was Rex Ryan's penchant for cursing like a sailor while on HBO's Hard Knocks.

That makes no sense to me. The NFL is populated with grown men playing a violent sport that permanently disables people and cuts short their life expectancy and Dungy seems more concerned with f-bombs.

And Dungy wasn’t done there, "It's hard for me to be around that, and if I were in charge, no, I wouldn't hire someone like that.”

Dungy wouldn't want to be around Ryan's dirty mouth but Dungy is fine being around Mike Vick, a man who electrocuted, shot and drowned dogs. A man whose most recent birthday party ended when shots rang out. Now am I the only one who finds this logic convoluted?

Tony Dungy says no to foul language, but yes to violent felons. Apparently to Dungy violent behavior is more forgivable than curse words.

If I were a football owner and someone told me that hiring felons was better than hiring people with dirty mouths I would laugh that person out of the room and then fire them. This isn’t Best Buy, Walmart or an office job, this is the NFL.

Men are asked to pop joints back into sockets and get back onto the field. Forgive me if I don’t care if they curse in the process.

I remember last year when Detroit Lions Quarterback Matt Stafford had a microphone attached to his uniform by NFL films for his game against the Cleveland Browns. In what NFL Films President Steve Sabol called one of the most compelling series of events caught on mic in NFL history, Stafford led his team to victory despite receiving a vicious hit on his left shoulder

Stafford cursed a lot during the end of that game. The pain and circumstances of that game were intense and Stafford let loose several well timed f-bombs. I can only imagine Dungy watching that at home, disappointed in Stafford shaking his head mumbling, “Watch your mouth young man.”

Now I have been inundated by Tony Dungy’s holier-than-thou approach for years and to be honest I was fine with it. He proved you could win without being a Bill Parcell’s type tyrant. It was refreshing. He didn’t dress down his players in public, he encouraged personal responsibility on and off the field and his door was always open for his players.

But Tony’s statements about Rex Ryan are not refreshing and instead taste bitter to me. Again the NFL is a league filled with grown men who are paid to hurt one another but Tony Dungy doesn’t want to expose them to foul language?

Are Tony Dungy’s ears anatomically different than the rest of us humans? Do his ears actually bleed from f-bombs?

Rex Ryan’s players have loved him every stop of the way he has every made during his NFL coaching career. Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins once famously said, “ He should be banned as a performance enhancing drug.”

Well apparently Dungy is so high and mighty that he wouldn’t want his players exposed to someone like that. Cause ya'know, first thing Jet’s players do when they go home after hearing Rex Ryan curse is kill their dogs like Michael Vick and then shoot innocent bystanders like Marvin Harrison.

Ryan has proven that he is both a master strategist and master motivator, yet Dungy wouldn’t hire him because of his dirty language. The Seattle Seahawks should be thanking the powers that be right now that Dungy never showed interest in being their team president. Apparently Dungy is more concerned with manners, politeness and etiquette than wins and losses.

I thought Dungy was a man who supported the notion that there are many ways to coach a team and none of them are right or wrong. I thought Tony Dungy understood that the NFL is about winning. I thought Dungy understood the concept that morals is not how you speak, but what your actions say. Apparently Dungy doesn’t think that way, and I find that very disappointing.

So here is some advice for Dungy, if he wants to exist in a world free of foul language he should go and sit in a church for the rest of his life. Better yet he should just become a monk, take a vow of silence and join a monastery high in the Swiss mountains. That way he will never have to hear a curse word ever again.